Have you ever had one of those days where you’re just feeling pretty confident, you’ve got something important to do, but you’re really not stressed about it. You feel just fine and you have something important to do and people are counting on you and you know you need to prepare for it, but you really just don’t take it seriously enough. Now, I try my best to have as few of those days as possible, but they still happen. There are those days where your ego gets the best of you or hitting too close to home for when my ego gets the best of me. Now, last year, Elizabeth, me and the boys were strolling around Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we’re taking in all the play below buildings and site. It was something I’d never seen before. I’ve been to New Mexico, but we’ve never been to Santa Fe and I love the city. From the moment that we pulled up and we went and got a great lunch, we saw the history and the artifacts.
If you’ve been there, we went through the church with the famous staircase. That still isn’t explained of how it’s being held up. And we went to what I believe is the structure of the oldest home in the United States and outside of that home, I got a message on my phone from Jared easily. Now Jared and Dan Franks run the incredibly successful podcast movement conference. And I had been a couple years in a row and it’s one of my favorite conferences to go to and Jared asked if we could have a quick talk. So I said, sure. I scooted out of the old house while Elizabeth and the boys kept looking around and I gave Jared a quick call. He surprised me by telling me that he wanted me to be on a panel for podcast movement. Now Jared, I have gotten way back not way back a couple of years, but we’ve got to know each other pretty well.
And I was surprisingly, because at that point I didn’t have a podcast. Well, it’s not technically correct. I had a podcast for my mastermind. It was an inclusive podcast, very much like what you’re listening to today, but it was only to those people that were in the mastermind, so I was curious what I could add to a panel on podcast movement. He said to me, you’re great at networking, you’re great at connecting. I want you to lead the part on networking for the new attendees coming to the conference. I said, yeah, that’s beautiful. I’d love to do it, and I agreed to it on the spot. So with any other presentation, I would then start working down what am I going to talk about, figuring out what my role would be, putting all the pieces together to make sure it’s a great presentation. And I got together with Jen Bryony who was the host of the congressional dish podcast and Donald Kelly, who hosts the sales evangelist podcast.
Now they’re both veteran podcasts. They both been on the panel before and they knew what was going on. I went through a Jen and we went through my role, what I would talk about and after what I said, she seemed really confident in what I was going to talk about and I was confident as well. I talked on the subject before, I have teach on it. Part of it is content of my next book coming out that I’m writing now. So of all gigs I was going to go up on stage for. I was not stressed about this one and Jen and I connected a couple more times. We went over what our roles would be, we went over the details of everything, everything I needed to know and she had it all down. Having been through this before and I continue to be very confident on this, got the podcast movement and I did what I normally did.
I connected with my friends, I met new people, have lunch and coffee and conversations and all that and I roomed my friend Jordan Peterson the first night and I said, you know, I really should start preparing for this. And I took some notes but I didn’t do much more than that because I know there’s like the back of my hand. I showed up that morning. I still felt good. I met with Jen and met with Donald and we sat on stage and the room filled up. There was probably close to 300 people in there and I had the mic in my hand and Jen was ready and Donald’s ready and Donald goes up and with his charismatic personality just starts wowing the crowds. Got everybody going on, everybody engaged and he was no more than two minutes into his presentation. When I looked up at him and I realized I am not remotely prepared for this.
Do you ever have one of those moments where all of a sudden you feel your body temperature rise? Like immediately? That was one of those moments and there’s nowhere to hide. There’s 300 people in front of you and you’re about to start talking for 20 minutes. How they can network during this conference and really being the one that helped them out that they’re looking towards. And then Donald finished and Jen got on and she did just as a professional job as Donald did and she talked about all the technical aspects of the conference using the app, all the things that I’m glad I didn’t get that gig. And before I knew it, Donald took over, grabbed the mic, introduced me as this networking expert that I’m going to give them all this wisdom and knowledge. And he introduced me and when I went up on stage, it wasn’t 30 seconds in before I realized this might be a disaster because it’s plain as day.
It was obvious that I was not prepared and I couldn’t wing it and I did my best. I had certain lines and certain stories to tell and different tidbits, but I can tell I was on shaky ground the entire time. And there was one moment I looked out into the crowd, I saw my friend Ken Carfagna, I saw Jordan and I felt like a complete fraud and I put my head down and I stopped and I said out loud into the mic, just so you know, I’m totally bombing here. Nobody nodded their head in agreement and nobody laughed. And there was truly no embarrassment from the crowd to me with empathy. They just kind of looked on at me and waited for me to recover. I took a deep breath and fortunately Jen saw what was going on and she stepped in and she stood up and she made a couple of points.
She got it going again. Then she handed it back to me and I was able to finish relatively smoothly. And what I was amazed by that actually had a lot of people coming up to me, asking me questions, telling me that they liked it, but I did have a few people that came up to me and said, what was going on there? And I was shaking my head and not sure how to answer. I saw Ken Jordan right afterwards and I was like, man, that was brutal. And Cal was like, no, it wasn’t. He was very supportive. I told him what it felt like for me and he’s like, that was probably two or three seconds. And to me it felt like a minute. So as much as I thought I bombed, which I still think I did, the response wasn’t that terrible at least to my face.
But here’s the tricky part. I had a second panel in four hours. So guess what I did, I didn’t go out to lunch with everybody. I didn’t go for a drink and I didn’t network. I went back to my room with a pen and paper and I decided to take it seriously and I thought about what they needed to hear and I thought about what I knew that can help them. And for three hours I crafted what I was going to talk about and I rehearsed it and I didn’t talk to anybody between that time. And I walked into that room around two 45 and I wasn’t smiling and I wasn’t schmoozing. I went over my notes one last time and I took a deep breath and I walked up on stage and I knew that if I bombed again I will have let Jared down cause he came up to me after the first one.
He said, great job. And I really thought he was joking with me. And he could be sarcastic, but he didn’t seem sarcastic, so I’m like, okay, I dodged. I might’ve dodged the bullet here, but I’m not playing with fire twice. I walked up on stage after Donald announced me and I was prepared and I did 20 minutes straight through and I didn’t pause and I’m stuttering, I’m stop and I really didn’t even sweat and around three quarters into what I said something in the entire crowd laughed and I looked over at Jen and I looked over at Donald and I saw them both nodding and they both had their lips purse while they nodded their heads in agreement. It was a great feeling because I felt like maybe not totally, but at least partially I had earned their respect back. I got off on stage and I did some Q and A and I went back to my room for about an hour and just collapsed in the bed and I realized that I let my ego get the best of me.
I allowed my ego to let me walk up on stage unprepared because I thought that I could just wing it. It’s one thing to think you can do it, but it’s another thing to be prepared for whatever comes at you. And taking an ego hit is not fun. But every failure in life comes with a great lesson. If you listen in that day in Orlando was a bad day for my ego, but it was a really good day for my soul. And those blows to my ego are now welcomed because I know there’s something to learn from them. I’ve heard it said that pride comes before the fall. And my pride, my ego allowed me to go in unprepared and allowed me to go and thinking I could just handle it as it happens. And it’s not until you step out on that stage and you disappoint people, disappoint them simply by not being prepared to bring your best for them. Our egos need that kick in the pants to tell us you’re not as good as you think you are, but how good you think you are, you better come prepared. So that bad day for my ego was a good day for my soul. I will talk to you tomorrow.